Pete Feenstra chatted to Paul Reed Smith for his Feature show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, first broadcast 5 March 2017.
Favored Nations [Release date 10.02.17] www.prsband.com/music (hear samples)
He’s been designing guitars for any number of name guitarists since the 1970s – Carlos Santana, Orianthi and Steven Wilson to name but a few – so it might be no surprise that Paul Reed Smith keeps his hand in with his PRS Band.
‘Time To Testify’ is rather a pleasant surprise (following his previous eponymous album in 2011), and for the most part Paul subjugates his evident guitar prowess to the groove, perhaps best demonstrated on the opener ‘Truth’ll Set You Free’.
Ably aided by vocalist Mia Samone a high standard is maintained throughout and there’s an almost perfect melding of rock and soul with psychedelic flavours. ‘Breathe’ provides a further standout. The band is completed by Michael Ault and Randy Bowland, guitars, and the Grainger twins Gary and Greg on bass and drums respectively.
The band’s take on Hendrix’s ‘Freedom’ and ‘Machine Gun’ works well and demonstrates the band’s effortless fusion, with Reed Smith’s guitar figures providing enough grit. In terms of guitar style, and the underpinning funk, the album should appeal to fans of Richie Kotzen and – in the more reflective moments as on ‘Tears In The Rain’ - Eric Johnson.
‘Testify’ and ‘Fifty To Life’ provide more great vehicles for Samone’s vocals and she excels on the Rufus-esque ‘Moving Mountains’ and the sinuously rocking ‘Runaway Train’.
Having heard Nancy Wilson’s current project with Prince singer Liv Warfield (Roadcase Royale) maybe we are witnessing a trend here in the mix of soulful (female) vocals and guitar grooves. Tasty. *****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
In his show broadcast on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio on 10 May David Randall played a further selection of artists and albums included in the new Features series, “2020 Vision”.
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Featured Albums w/c 25 May (Mon-Fri)
09:00-12:00 FM Synchronized (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 THE ROCKET DOLLS The Art Of Disconnect (indie)
14:00-16:00 BEN KUNDER Searching For The Stranger (indie)
Power Plays w/c 11 May (Mon-Fri)
THE MERCY KILLS Alone (Golden Robot Records)
DEAD REYNOLDS By Your Side (indie)
THE JAILBIRDS Watery Grave (Golden Robot Records)
ALI MASS & MICKY MOODY These Times (Last Man Music)
MASSIVE WAGONS Bangin In Your Stereo (Earache)
UDO We Are One (AFM Records)
Tweets by Get Ready to ROCK!